You probably know at least one couple who has gotten divorced, and those who have gone through divorce may list a variety of reasons for the action. Based on conversation with others, you may believe you can get a divorce for any reason you choose. However, this is not entirely true.

There are a few requirements you must meet to be eligible for a divorce in West Virginia, and one of those requirements involves choosing an acceptable ground, or legally valid reason, for your divorce. If you think it may be necessary to end your marriage, it can be helpful to understand what grounds for divorce are recognized in West Virginia.

Some grounds allege marital misconduct

Some of the grounds recognized in West Virginia blame the breakdown of your marriage on some of your spouse’s actions during the marriage. If you choose a fault ground, you must be able to prove your allegations, and your spouse will be given an opportunity to defend himself or herself. Without successfully proving the misconduct occurred, you may not be granted a divorce. However, successfully proved misconduct may help you achieve better divorce outcomes in areas like spousal support and child custody.

Each ground has its own requirements that must be met for you to use it. However, the fault grounds you may choose from, include:

  • Cruel or inhuman treatment
  • Adultery
  • Conviction of a crime
  • Permanent and incurable insanity
  • Habitual drunkenness or drug addiction
  • Desertion
  • Abuse or neglect of a child

West Virginia also recognized no-fault grounds

Although using a fault ground is appropriate in some situations, using a fault ground may not be the best strategy for all divorces. Fortunately, West Virginia also recognizes two no-fault grounds. No-fault grounds do not allege that one spouse caused the divorce by an act of misconduct.

A court may grant a divorce if you and your spouse have irreconcilable differences. A court may also grant a divorce if you and your spouse have lived apart for at least a year.

It can be difficult to decide if ending your marriage is the best path forward. If you do choose to seek divorce, you may have many personal reasons for that action. However, it can be helpful to consider on what ground you might seek divorce.